Is your baby dribbling, crying, screaming, fist in mouth? Are they teething? Isn’t this all normal baby stuff anyway? How do you know your baby is bothered by their teeth?
Surprisingly there are other symptoms, many of which don’t even seem related. Some babies have concurrent colds and coughs when they teethe, others have stomach problems, including excess wind, diarrhoea and nappy rash. And if your baby is losing sleep they are probably feeling grumpy and out of sorts.
So what can we do about it? My first port of call is homeopathy. You will find a lot of branded homeopathy products and all of these are the remedy chamomilla. There is a reason for this as it is the most commonly needed. However a lot of children need other remedies instead.
Nelsons teetha gel has 3 homeopathic remedies, belladonna (swelling and restless), aconite (red hot cheeks, pain, fever) and chamomilla (high emotional state, especially anger, unbearable pain, sweating) these are remedies which a lot of little ones need for teething.
All the teething powders contain the homeopathic remedy Chamomilla. This is effective in many babies however if your baby’s symptoms don’t fit (see below) you will need a different remedy.
Your baby may not have every symptom but the emotional ones are the most important so start with those and see which one is closest.
Calcarea carbonica (Calc carb) – when teething is very slow (they seem to take forever to arrive), children sweat easily and sheets may be wet, and the sweat smells sour. They may be anxious before bed, and can also be stubborn. Chilly but overheats easily. Diarrheoa while teething. May grind their teeth (or gums!) in their sleep.
Calcarea phosphorica (calc-phos) – Discontented, irritable, screaming in sleep. Slow and difficult teething. Baby may also be slow in general development. Green stools. Helpful for teeth that are slow in cutting through the gums, teething children may develop diarrhoea cold and coughs. In some children the teeth may even decay easily. This remedy helps them to assimilate calcium and encourages healthy dentine formation.
Chamomilla – this is the one most commonly used and is in all the powders. When the pain is unbearable, red cheeks, and angry highly emotional state, over sensitive and doesn’t know what they want. Sweating and high fever, baby wants to be carried, may scream with pain. May also have diarrhoea which may be green and earache or cough may also be present. Don’t want to chew on anything as pressure makes the pain worse.
Pulsatilla- If your little one is very tearful and feeling sorry for themselves, especially if they want just mummy at this time. They may have accompanying earache or a cold and lots of catarrh. They feel better with fresh air and are not thirsty – you keep reminding them to drink but they refuse. Affectionate, sensitive babies, but when unwell get clingy and whiny, in fact you feel you can’t get away.
Phytolacca. – for painful teething, where baby bites down hard on anything and everything. Lots of saliva and crying in pain. Baby is restless. They may want motion but it makes them feel worse. Worse at night time.
Rheum – Diarrhoea and colicky pains caused by teething, irritable, restless, screaming and tearful, They may sleep very little and seem to survive well although you don’t! Baby smells sour even after a bath.
Silica – Teething is very slow and painful. Gets colds, coughs and diarrhoea while teething. Silica will help to push the tooth out. Anxious, sensitive and shy. Baby doesn’t want to play. Emotionally more mild but restless, and worse when you try to console them. Can be stubborn, irritable and sensitive to noise which makes them startle.
Where to buy
Many homeopathic remedies are available in health food shops, in mainstream chemists or via homeopathic pharmacies:
How to take remedies
Most will be sold in pillule form; you can add one or two pillules to a glass of water and then stir each time you give a spoon to your little one. The homeopathic pharmacies also sell remedies in soft tablets which melt on the tongue – you can easily crush these between two spoons to give to your baby.
Avoid touching the remedies with your fingers.
Wash any glasses or spoons well with scalding hot water after use so the next person doesn’t get an inadvertent dose of the medicine.
I usually recommend a 30C potency for teething where baby is emotional as well as in pain or 6C if there are mostly physical symptoms.
Start with one dose of the remedy, if there is a definite improvement one dose should be sufficient.
If the teething is very severe you can give a remedy more frequently, be led by your child as to how they are feeling and how frequently they require the remedy. If they are feeling very distressed they may need a dose every 5 minutes, alternatively if they fall asleep they may not need another dose until the next evening.
Once a remedy has started to work, continue but make the gaps less often.
If there is a strong and definite improvement it is essential to stop the remedy.
Need more help? to see if working with me is right for you.